The company failed to provide adequate signage or traffic management at a site in London.

Telecoms giant BT has been fined a record amount for ‘putting the public at risk’ during street works that took place last year in the City of London.

Transport for London (TfL), which prosecuted the company, said BT had failed to ‘properly sign and guard the work area’ at a site at Bishopsgate in August 2017, and that the company had used ‘the wrong traffic management methods.

TfL also accused BT of failing to take action to improve the situation, despite the transport authority’s repeated demands.

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BT pleaded guilty to the unsafe execution of streetworks with significant risk to public safety at Westminster Magistrates Court and was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay a further £3,394 in court costs.

Passing sentence, the district judge said: ‘There is clearly a disconnect between BT and its contractors, consistently resulting in a number of these breaches, which must be fixed by BT to avoid future offences.

‘It took over a day for BT to rectify these faults despite the works taking place in a busy part of the City of London with substantial impact on traffic. The response was unacceptably slow in my view and I hope that is reflected in my sentence.’

A BT Openreach spokesperson said: ‘We fully accept the judge’s decision and we’re sorry that our safeguards were not up to scratch in these two cases.

‘We carry out 3,500 projects like this every month across London and over 99 percent of these are completed without incident. Safety of the public is absolutely paramount to us, and we’ve put further measures in place for our contractors to follow that we believe will prevent this happening in future.’